Message Board Reactions on the UNC/NCAA investigation

I have followed message boards of different college programs around the country for almost 15 years(mainly NC State, UNC and Wake Forest). Message boards are often ridiculed by the print/television/radio media, coaches, athletic directors, and even message board posters themselves. While sometimes these forums are criticized for good reasons, in regards to major news stories sometimes message boards are the only and/or best source of information. Obviously, the print/radio/television media have specific professional standards to follow when presenting information. It is the nature of their format. However, the anonymous nature of message boards has given people a forum to share information they come across or discover on any particular story. In that particular example provided in the link, a poster discovered that a former UNC graduate and ex-UNC football player works for the NCAA investigative team…something that one might expect a local professional media person to already have discovered and dismissed as being irrelevant in the paper, radio or on TV.

Most websites have now transformed into a “premium format” where subscribers are allowed access to the “premium board”. In theory, subscribers can access more information from site administrators and “board insiders”. While it is true that premium forums have more information, I have found “premium boards” often to be slanted and at least filtered so that only “positive” information is leaked while potential “negative” information is ignored or quickly dismissed until the story finally breaks. For example, the injury to NC State’s Rashad Smith was being ignored by the “premium” sites(HIPPA/privacy concerns for the student-athlete), yet the rumor was definitely out on the various message NC State message boards that exist.

“Free boards” of the various websites are generally looked down on by the premium subscribers. While the various free sites are over the top at times and often sources of bogus information, these “free forums” still have a role as information about major news stories comes out. Because the information isn’t filtered by websites with media access to protect or by “insiders” who are close to people at the university, information on potential “negative” stories flows more freely than on “premium” sites. However, deciphering fact from fiction is difficult and can be almost impossible at times.

I thought it might be interesting to look back at the original message board post on InsideCarolina that broke the news of the NCAA’s investigation of UNC. Below I am going to quote posts from people that are totally anonymous to us. These posts were selected not because they are true, but when this story broke they were definitely the most interesting as this particular thread developed as far as details that were shared and the sources that were being claimed by these posters. To stress again, these posts aren’t being presented because of their accuracy, but just to provide a partial glance at how this particular major local story broke on the message board at InsideCarolina.

The full 35 page thread can be viewed here.

Posted: 7/15/2010 4:19 PM by Greg Barnes – IC Staff

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Inside Carolina has learned that the University of North Carolina’s football program is under investigation by the NCAA.

6 minutes later Heelacrosse guesses the reason for the investigation:

Posted: 7/15/2010 4:23 PM
Can we assume this is for illegal contact with agents?

First denial by a Heels fan(GoHeels2199):

Posted: 7/15/2010 4:25 PM
That would be the likely first thought. But I doubt that. Butch doesnt let things like that happen

An acknowledgement that something might have happened by Mendel:

Posted: 7/15/2010 4:28 PM
The fact that there is an investigation certainly must make us consider that possibility that Butch does let some things happen that shouldn’t happen. We shouldn’t indict him or anyone else while things are still in the investigational stage, but honestly, at this point, the “Butch doesn’t let things like that happen” defense isn’t very reassuring

First poster with an inside source, Stuartheel, correctly states the reason for the investigation:

Posted: 7/15/2010 4:53 PM
I have just heard that it has to do with the fact that the NCAA is concerned about contact with agents on the part of some of their potential-NFL draft picks that came back to school this year. Apparently there is no accusation of any wrongdoing at this point, but the NCAA has concern that it feels the need to address with UNC.

A wild accusation that has since never been verified from firecoach:

Posted: 7/15/2010 5:12 PM
I have heard that Blake is the center of the investigation and his players are being interviewed.

More information about the investigation from MamaDips12 only 57 minutes after the first post:

Posted: 7/15/2010 5:14 PM
I am not going to post what I was told from someone today or am I going to debate a sources credibility, but they have met with several players and one for around 3 hours. I will say that I didn’t like what I heard.

heel3 says:

Posted: 7/16/2010 3:11 PM
Ive heard it is an accidental violation by a current player who went on a trip with a former player, who is now a pro. The former player paid for pretty much everything because he has a good amount of money. Apparently the current player didnt even know he was violating an NCAA rule, never even occured to him. This will be done and over with quickly if you ask me.

TheExplosiveHakeemNicks(1906 posts) with a supposed source inside UNC’s athletic department:

Posted: 7/16/2010 3:49 PM
I have a friend that interns in the athletic department and have been trying to get in contact with him since yesterday when this broke. Finally got an answer. The feeling around the department doesn’t expect anything to happen. Know it isn’t a sure thing source but just saying what I’m hearing from the department.

TheExplosiveHakeemNicks remains confident:

Posted: 7/17/2010 1:26 PM
Nothing will come of this guys. Worst case, Marv gets 1 or 2 games. That is the WORST case scenario.

And again TheExplosiveHakeemNicks:

Posted: 7/17/2010 1:47 PM
Same story. The people around the football program understand the seriousness of the situation but are very confident that EVERYONE will be cleared. Hope it help


Posted: 7/19/2010 2:11 PM
The UF and SC investigation (and I can ensure more are to come) should make yall feel better about this. This is simply a quality control check ladies and gents. Nothing to see here.


Just got done talking to my friend who is interning in the UNC athletic department. The feel around the office is still VERY optimistic. They are supremely confident no punishment is going to come out of this. I asked him to give me the odds of the full defense being eligible for LSU: “99% sure. Something ridiculous is going to have to happen for anything to change. We’ll be ok.”

As more stories come out about the investigation, TheExplosiveHakeemNicks posts:

Posted: 7/22/2010 12:08 PM
These allegations are way off and just show how anyone with a blog can create rumors with “sources close to this situation”. How can you honestly believe this crap? Charles freaking Brown asked for money? At least make your crazy junk make sense. Unbelievable. The fact that they described Greg’s manners from the meeting show that this is complete bull ****. No UNC or NCAA person is going to leak that to a unknown blog site. It is an infraction to do so. Pathetic.

TheExplosiveHakeemNicks posts

Posted: 7/22/2010 12:10 PM
The sense is this will be ruled on before the month is out. Everyone around the football offices is SUPREMELY confident Marvin will be cleared. I just called my friend about this article. He pulled it up, read it and started laughing over the phone as he read these “allegations”. There is ZERO truth to these. It is Marvin or nothing and it **** sure looks like nothing.

All of a sudden,TheExplosiveHakeemNicks changes his tone:

Posted: Posted: 7/22/2010 12:24 PM
I just heard some news from a former player at UNC. He talked to multiple high level NFL front office people and they both said it is known around the league that Marvin has been taking money from agents since post junior year. They believe that he is done for this season unless he can keep up the lies for the investigation. I know it kinda contradicts my other source but I guess the football offices believe that Marvin is telling the truth and going by his version of the “truth”, we’ll be fine. But according to this player, who has worked in NFL front offices before, many in the NFL are aware of Marv taking money.

That’s all I got for now.

He highly doubts Marvin paid for anything and believes that he’ll be lucky to see the field again.

So which source should we believe? TheExplosiveHakeemNicks:

Posted: 7/22/2010 12:31 PM
No problem. This is certainly gonna take precedence over my intern source. He was just reporting a mood. This guy is a former UNC player who has worked in NFL front offices and has had two high-level front office executives say Marvin is dirty.

TheExplosiveHakeemNicks gives more details;
Posted: 7/22/2010 3:47 PM

Once again, what I am hearing is that this has been going on for some time. He(Marvin Austin) has been accepting money before post-junior year. Just what my guy is telling me.

A new player steps forward, InfiniteJustice2001:

Posted: 7/22/2010 6:25 PM
After what I was told today I am no longer optimistic about the season.

InfiniteJustice2001 goes into detail about what they heard and the source:

Posted: 7/22/2010 8:45 PM
The biggest detail to his info was that the NCAA is trying to determine whether or not any of our coaches knew about this party. If any of our coaches knew about this there will be sanctions against the program. Then he mentioned something about “Black Santa” and his agent being on the hot seat. Player #8’s father also hurt our case with the info he came forward with. Not sure if this was something on TWITTER or was told to an investigator. He also said minimum of 5 maximum of 8 players suspended for this season. That blew me away because I never thought that many players were involved. He didn’t know the names he was only given a number. Other than #8 and #9 I don’t know who the other players are. If I could go back in time I would destroy TWITTER.

My man is very credible. He wouldn’t lie. He has a friend that works at the NCAA in Indy that was telling him what he knew off the record.

InfiniteJustice2001, who as of today has 4582 posts on InsideCarolina responds to people attacking him:

Posted: 7/22/2010 9:11 PM
Look how many posts I have. Why would lie? I am only relating what I was told. Nothing is set in stone yet I know.

InfiniteJustice2001 defends his information/source:

Posted: 7/22/2010 10:27 PM
Why attack the messenger. I really don’t care if you believe me or not. I am only putting this out there because my source is so credible. He has been working in college athletics for over 10 years and knows a lot of people and this is what he told me today.

InfiniteJustice 2001 followed up by saying:

Posted: 7/22/2010 10:31 PM
Not random other person. Close friend. Don’t know how close this person is to the investigation. I just know they work in INDY.

Big Four Rivals Editor's Picks Fans Media UNC Scandal

21 Responses to Message Board Reactions on the UNC/NCAA investigation

  1. FullMoonRising 08/06/2010 at 11:39 AM #

    It’s a very interesting sequence of posts for sure. If believable, I think Mr. Wilson may be looking for a new job in the very near future. I highly doubt the NCAA would look kindly upon an employee leaking secrets surrounding an ongoing investigation to message boarders.

    In any event, I like the sound of Blake being officially implicated as well as a higher number of players. I know it’s unsportsmanlike to take pleasure in someone elses moral failures, but sometimes it’s just too hard to resist. YAY!

  2. Bubba 08/06/2010 at 11:40 AM #

    Paging Marshall….Ms Elaine Marshall

    Please report to the football office at once

  3. Plz2BStateFan 08/06/2010 at 11:56 AM #



    If proven true, this also might go to show how in the dark the AD could be.

  4. Skoll 08/06/2010 at 12:06 PM #

    This should be sent to both Rachel Newman Baker and the front office of the NCAA while copying several media outlets.

  5. GoldenChain 08/06/2010 at 12:19 PM #

    Already the posters are WRONG because they somehow had the mistaken idea that it would be over before the end of July?!?!

    However, I am amazed at how many people just make crap up (‘my source within the AD office’). It happens on every board of any type, political, religious, and most certainly SPORTS.

    It also doesn’t surprise me that even if there are ‘sources’ they are putting a positive spin through the propaganda outlets. What else ya gonna say? “We’re all worried about our jobs and the future of the program, tell everyone you know to Run not walk away from xh!”

    The most amazing thing of all is that the xarolina boards haven’t hooked Duke or State into the mess.

  6. Pack78 08/06/2010 at 12:27 PM #

    DU-As usual, excellent work-thanks. I had forgotten about some of these posts; they square with info about Wilson. Looking forward to the house of cards coming down soon!

  7. Pack78 08/06/2010 at 12:33 PM #

    ^^GC-Several on the I(diot) C(entral) board are blaming us or VT!

  8. islandbreeze 08/06/2010 at 12:38 PM #

    Rachel Newman Baker is RNB31 on Twitter. (simple google search)

    P.S. I don’t know if it’s her on not.

  9. Wufpacker 08/06/2010 at 12:47 PM #

    I still love the old adage that so many posters on so many boards still cling to:

    Look at how many posts I got. How can you not believe the load of crap I just dropped on my 4582nd post?

    I’m sure glad you guys don’t have a post count function here. I’ve always hated that. By that logic, Jeff was a complete idiot before he started and published the first InfoPack (and yes, I know many think he still is, but most of those are the idiotboard members with 4000+ posts, kinda my point).

  10. LKNpackfan 08/06/2010 at 1:03 PM #

    God I love this site.
    A LOT of prominent individuals, at all levels of media and sports, read SFN. And once again the guys uncover revelant info that will spread in a matter of minutes.

    I wish Gore would’ve invented the interwebs in the 80’s

  11. packalum08 08/06/2010 at 1:15 PM #

    Thanks for helping distill those 35 pages into the more useful posts.

    IC does have a thread entitled “NCAA investigating NC State!” that links to an article discussing cheating in bass fishing (none of our guys implicated).

  12. Plz2BStateFan 08/06/2010 at 1:23 PM #

    The 4000 post count is more in line with proving he isnt a State Duke or some other kind of troll trashing their boards.

    It is supposed to prove that if he was a troll, he would have been found out 4k posts ago and banned as they do so much over there.

  13. NCStatePride 08/06/2010 at 1:52 PM #

    This is more of a general comment about this article, but I think that you left out the most important facet of a message board, with respect to these allegations:

    “However, the anonymous nature of message boards has given everyday people a forum to share information they come across or discover on any particular story. ”

    The anonymous nature of message boards have given INFLUENTIAL, or IMPORTANT, or even NORMALLY RESTRICTED people to share information. What I find best about many of these boards is that if you listen closely, you can find out who is, potentially, very knowledgable of what is going on in a given situation and is willing to speak, so long as they know their identity is covered. That’s what has made much of this UNC saga entertaining!

  14. GoldenChain 08/06/2010 at 2:20 PM #

    Right on Pride.
    ….just think about how often I’m right……LOL!

  15. TAEdisonHokie 08/06/2010 at 4:28 PM #

    Excellent article!

    By the way, have you guys noticed that Tennessee has come under the NCAA gun? Read this article:

    Source: Vols expect letter of inquiry

    Keep in mind that Tennessee recruited a number of the same players recruited by UNC, notably Brandon Willis and Corey Miller. Both committd to UT early in the process, but Willis later flipped to UNC. Corey Miller later accused Coach Blake (Black Santa) of trying to bribe him to come to UNC and throwing girls at Willis to influence his decision.

    More news…Austin and Blake practiced with the 2nd-string Tar Heel defense today. Hmmm.

  16. TAEdisonHokie 08/06/2010 at 4:44 PM #

    To Pack78:

    There are plenty of programs other than VT and NCSU with bigger axes to grind against UNC:

    *Clemson: Brandon Ellerbe flipped to UNC because his mom moved to Chapel Hill. Where did she get the money to move?

    *Tennessee: Corey Miller claims John Blake tried to bribe him to come to UNC, and Brandon Willis did flip to UNC. That was posted by Corey to the UT Facebook wall.

    *USC-E: Because their TE Weslye Saunders got dragged into the investigation. He’s practicing, but don’t know if he’ll be allowed to play.

    *Bama: Because their DE Marcel Dareus has been suspended pending a review fpr reinstatement by the NCAA.

    *Duke: Cutcliffe is pissed at UNC for a variety of reasons

    *UGA: Because A. J. Green is being investigated by the NCAA

    …and other interesting factoids…

    *UNC back-up QB Bryn Renner’s dad became head coach at East Chapel Hill High this summer…he was given the “lead” on the opening by Butch Davis. BD’s son is the QB for ECH.

    *The father of a recent UNC commit from Virginia who accepted a job two days before his son gave his verbal to UNC. His father moved from South Carolina to…drum roll, please…you guessed it!…Chapel Hill.

    Let’s not forget that the NCAA has asked other programs with information about UNC to step forward. And now, the NCAA is investigating Tennessee.

  17. TAEdisonHokie 08/06/2010 at 7:21 PM #

    Hey, guess what? Miami’s on the hot-seat now….

    NCAA looking into possible violations by Miami


    “MIAMI — The University of Miami is being investigated for possible NCAA violations.

    UM issued a statement Friday, saying the investigation surrounds ‘impermissible text messages and telephone calls to prospective student-athletes.’ The university conducted an audit and reported its findings to the NCAA.

    A joint investigation has been launched.

    The university says it will take the appropriate steps to ensure full compliance with NCAA rules and regulations. The statement doesn’t list which sports were involved or how many text-related violations were discovered. The school declined further comment.

    The NCAA website says “schools cannot text prospective student-athletes at any time.” Texting was eliminated because of the potential cost to prospective student-athletes, the site said.

    Past NCAA cases involving text messaging have typically led to schools either being placed on probation or imposing that penalty on themselves.”

  18. john of sparta 08/06/2010 at 7:48 PM #

    who? first name, last name.
    what? exact quote searchable on YahooSearch.
    when? this is the internet. to the micro-second.
    where? Twitter/Facebook/AlJazeera/SpellCheck.
    i live with Magan Fox. so there. excuse me.

  19. Pack78 08/06/2010 at 8:15 PM #

    Hokie-Appreciate the recap; Pack has known for years that Blake (and by extension UNC recruiting) is dirty; IC clowns suspect us because we loathe those arrogant clods, VT comes up because ‘Beamer is now afraid of the fast-rising Tar Heel juggernaut’. Many IC posters have an extra-planetary zip code.

  20. Wufpacker 08/06/2010 at 8:34 PM #

    Plz2B – yes, I understand the nature of the high post count giving some credibility for not being a troll. I don’t mean to say that anyone with a 1 or 2 should be trusted more. There is certainly a time when low post count, combined with WTF information being passed along has to raise red flags.

    Not knowing this poster better, I certainly can’t judge the accuracy of his statements, or the validity of his source(s). I just know that most folks that use the post count as the argument to trust what they’re saying seem to be the ones who’s information falls through most often.

    If they had a better reason they should be trusted, and they’re posting to share information, and enjoy intellectual discourse, they wouldn’t care what their post count was.

    On the old original, I couldn’t have told you what my post count was at any give time. I know it was in the thousands, but I rarely looked. I honestly couldn’t have cared less.

    Then again, I have no inside sources, other than SFN, that is. I honestly don’t know crap until SFN tells me. But that’s fine by me. I like the folks here, and they know stuff before 90% of other sources.

    So does that support my point or refute it? I’m honestly not sure, LOL.

  21. TAEdisonHokie 08/08/2010 at 11:45 AM #

    I will tell anyone who wants to listen that this site is one of the most even-handed in regards to the UNC investigation. The information brought to this site has really helped me and other Hokie fans understand what’s really going on. Additionally, the information here has helped confirm what Hokie insiders on HokieHaven are hearing from their sources. Hopefully, some of the information I’ve brought to this forum has been helpful as well.

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